When Can I Retire?
Participants in the Lay Defined Benefit Plan begin to receive benefits upon retirement.
- Normal retirement age is 65.
- You may retire as early as age 55, although your benefits will be reduced.
If You Work Past 65
- Your employer will continue to contribute to your account.
- You will continue to earn Credited Service until you retire.
- If a lay employee works less than 1,000 hours per year, he or she may begin receiving retirement benefits as early as age 55. A lay employee who is working more than 1,000 hours per year for a Participating Employer cannot receive retirement benefits.
- If a lay employee who is receiving retirement benefits returns to employment for a Participating Employer and is scheduled to work more than 1,000 hours per year, his or her retirement benefit will be suspended. However, if a lay employee returns to work after April 1 following the calendar year in which he or she attains age 701⁄2, then benefits will not be suspended.
The lay employee's participation in the Medicare Supplement Plan may be impacted. The employee may be required to enroll in one of the Medicare Secondary Payer Small Employer Exception Plans or the active healthcare plans offered by his or her employer.
- Upon his or her subsequent retirement, the employee will receive a retirement benefit that consists of the following components:
- The retirement benefit that he or she was previously receiving, adjusted for cost-of-living increases, if any, paid in the form previously elected.
- The retirement benefit that he or she earns after his or her return to service, payable in the form he or she elects.
- In some cases, certain minimum benefits must be paid, even while the lay employee is working, in order to comply with certain legal requirements.
These restrictions apply only to employment with a Participating Employer within the Episcopal Church.
For details, please refer to A Guide To Benefits Under the Lay Defined Benefit Plan
If you believe that you have been denied a benefit that you are due under the Lay Defined Benefit Plan, you have the option to file an appeal. Download information on the claims and appeals process.
The Lay Defined Benefit Plan is a qualified plan under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, but as a church plan, it is not subject to ERISA. The plan's financial condition is disclosed in the Church Pension Group Annual Report.
The Church Pension Fund, as sponsor of this plan, continues to monitor the funding status closely. Like many defined benefit plans, the Lay Defined Benefit Plan currently is not fully funded. The Church Pension Fund retains the right to amend, terminate or modify the terms of the Lay Defined Benefit Plan, including the employer assessment rate, without notice and for any reason.